As in all sweetest music, a tinge of sadness was in every note. Nor do we know how much of the pleasures even of life we owe to the intermingled sorrows. Joy cannot unfold the deepest truths, although deepest truth must be deepest joy. Cometh white-robed Sorrow, stooping and wan, and flingeth wide the doors she may not enter. Almost we linger with Sorrow for very love."
My journey with same-sex attraction has been similar in many ways. The road hasn't been easy. In fact, at times it has been downright awful. I didn't ask to be gay, and there have been many times in my life where I would have done anything - given anything - to be rid of it. Often it has brought feelings of alienation, misunderstanding, confusion, and despair. Feeling inescapably different than all of my friends brings with it a unique type of sorrow.
For me, this is what it means to "linger with sorrow for very love." The love of God has been made manifest to me through my being gay in ways that it would not have otherwise, so I am willing to walk the sorrowful road. I am willing to "linger with sorrow" because I know that God is working all things - including my sexuality - together for my ultimate good and highest joy (Rom. 8:28).
And what's crazy is that this is not just true of me and my sexuality, but of everyone in a multitude of areas. Think about it. How many of life's sweetest joys would not be possible without the pain that led to them? How many friendships would still be superficial because the deep season of hurt, pain, and reconciliation didn't happen? How many words of encouragement would not have been able to be spoken because we didn't walk through that same valley before?
This is the message of scripture as well. Consider verses such as James 1:2-3, Psalm 119:71, and 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. The main reason that the Lord brings trials, pain, and hardship into our lives is to perfect us, draw us to him, and give us greater, deeper joy.
From mountain top views, to losing weight, to sweet relationships - they all involve pain on the way. But the sorrow makes the joy more joyful, the delight more delightful, and the love more loving. And so, "Almost we linger with Sorrow for very love."